Background: In 2013, the ILC was operating 15 businesses across Australia, to deliver training and employment opportunities for Indigenous people. These provided industry-based training to enable employment in mainstream businesses; provide unique, residential, industry-based training facilities; and assist Indigenous landowners to bring Indigenous-held land back into production. Through the Training to Employment (T2E) Program, the ILC provided training and employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians. The initial T2E Program commenced in 2008, spanning over 3 years at a cost of $9.2m. Following an evaluation in 2011, ILC committed further funds to continue the program until 2014.
The T2E Program operates under three delivery models: tourism, agriculture, and industry partnerships. All three models have a number of synergies, including the requirement of meeting the needs of learners to participate in education and training while learning life skills, gaining training support, and ensuring quality skills outcomes that contribute effectively to maintain and develop further the national economy.
In October 2013, Sustineo was engaged by the ILC to undertake a review of the T2E Program. The review focused on the experiences of those involved in the program and the extent to which the T2E Program delivered positive outcomes for training and employment for Indigenous Australians. The review aimed to identify the impact the program had made on participants and industries, and inform any future changes to program design.
Approach: Sustineo employed a participatory and inclusive approach to client and stakeholder engagement. Sustineo’s team carried out 103 interviews in four sites throughout the country. This included engagements at two tourism and two agricultural properties. Further to this, a quantitative database analysis was undertaken to identify the flow of trainees and graduates from the period January 2011 to October 2013.
Outcome: The review provided the ILC with a high quality, independent overview of the benefits, risks and challenges of the T2E Program. Sustineo identified areas where the ILC could strategically intervene to further improve the quality of the program being delivered. The Sustineo team further identified that despite some trainees not fully completing the training program, they attained life skills and supervision which all participants found highly valuable. Sustineo’s work made a meaningful contribution to the ILC’s submissions to the Forrest Review at the end of 2013, providing independent evidence of the benefits of the T2E Program.